- Geography. the southern end of the earth's axis, the southernmost point on earth.
- Astronomy. the point at which the axis of the earth extended cuts the southern half of the celestial sphere; the south celestial pole.
- (lowercase) the pole of a magnet that seeks the earth's south magnetic pole.
- (lowercase) See under magnetic pole(def 1).
Origin of South Pole
1585–95, for def 1
- the region of a magnet toward which the lines of magnetic induction converge (south pole) or from which the lines of induction diverge (north pole).
- either of the two points on the earth's surface where the dipping needle of a compass stands vertical, one in the arctic, the other in the antarctic.
Origin of magnetic pole
First recorded in 1695–1705
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- either of two regions in a magnet where the magnetic induction is concentrated
- either of two variable points on the earth's surface towards which a magnetic needle points, where the lines of force of the earth's magnetic field are vertical
- the southernmost point on the earth's axis, at the latitude of 90°S
- astronomy the point of intersection, in the constellation Octans, of the earth's extended axis and the southern half of the celestial sphere
- (usually not capitals) the south-seeking pole of a freely suspended magnet
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- Either of two regions of a magnet, designated north and south, where the magnetic field is strongest. Electromagnetic interactions cause the north poles of magnets to be attracted to the south poles of other magnets, and conversely. The north pole of a magnet is the pole out of which magnetic lines of force point, while the south pole is the pole into which they point. The Earth's geomagnetic north and south poles are, in fact, magnetically the opposite of what their names suggest; this is why the north end of a compass needle is attracted to the geomagnetic north pole. See Note at magnetism. See also magnetic.
- Either of two regions of the Earth's surface at which magnetic lines of force are perpendicular to the Earth's surface. The Earth's magnetic poles are close to, but not identical with, both its geographic poles (the North and South Poles) and its geomagnetic poles. See Note at magnetic reversal.
- The southern end of the Earth's axis of rotation, located at 90° south latitude at a point in Antarctica. See more at axis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The spot on the Earth toward which a compass needle will point.
The north magnetic pole is not located exactly at the geographic North Pole. Therefore, depending on where a compass is, its needle may not point exactly north.
The variation between magnetic north and “true” north is usually shown on navigation maps as the “angle of declination.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.